Our Mission: To restore private lands to their natural wetland state for desert flora, fauna and migrating waterfowl.
July 7, 2022 – Sandia Wetlands Project was privileged to have been visited by Linda Taylor and husband Mark. Linda is a world class photographer of dragonflies, images of which she generously shared with us. Linda and Mark hail from Waco, TX where he teaches at Baylor and fills the vital role of chauffeur and spotter on their road trips. This was their first (of many we hope) visits to West Texas and Sandia. Thank you for thinking of us Linda and we hope to see you next May.
July 19, 2022 – Area wetland images including Sandia taken by Mike Gray for the Pecos Enterprise Newspaper and shared with us. Thank you Mike!
Panorama image is the wetlands, also one of wetland where you can see birds landing (Black-necked Stilts, Pied-billed Grebe, Lesser Yellowlegs and Am Coot), Picture of Blue Dasher (dragonfly which will love the wetlands – PS eats lots of small insects including mosquitoes). Picture of Black-necked Stilt in wetlands taken at Sandia Wetlands – same day
July 13, 2022 – (Expand image & volume up) Upper part of the image a Black necked stilt making a fuss to divert a potential threat away from eggs or hatchlings.
July 12, 2022 – New plants at Sandia Wetlands Project: Water lilies and Canna (Canna glauca). Come check them out. Bring your binoculars.
May 28, 2022 – Sandia Wetlands Project was highlighted in the 2022 spring edition of American Bird Conservancy’s Bird Conservancy Magazine much to our surprise and delight. You can view the full article here:
May 15, 2022 – Image of a couple units that make up Sandia Wetlands Project. Visitors are always welcome. Check the “Visit” tab top of our homepage for a map showing our location just east of Balmorhea. While here please sign our guest registry and list your sightings. Enjoy!
May 6, 2022 – Images shared by Gary Klimpel from his visit to Sandia. Thank you Gary!
November 17, 2021 – Black-legged Kittiwake. “We heard about his bird up at Balmorhea Lake and ran up this afternoon and got a new bird for Cecilia’s Texas and Trans-Pecos lists. Nice afternoon – hard bird to see in Texas but now two that I heard of – this one and one in El Paso.” Mike Gray.
Below image is a link to Audubon.org with more detail on the Black-legged Kittiwake.
November 12, 2021 – eBird historic sightings list going back a few years to current YTD for Sandia Wetlands Project, Lake Balmorhea and elsewhere in the Balmorhea area. A great sample of what you might see when you visit. Click on link to view.
September 25, 2021 – The Tierra Grande Chapter, Texas Master Naturalists New Member Class of 2021 held their second weekend of training at Balmorhea State Park and Sandia Wetlands Project. This years class may be be the best ever! The following images taken at Sandia Wetlands where members camped and volunteered during the weekend.
(Click On Image To Enlarge)
September 9, 2021 – The following images demonstrate the effort and hard work restoring the area below the Balmorhea Lake dam. Visit and see for yourself. And stop by our Sandia Springs Wetlands Project just down the road. Be sure to sign the guest book and list your bird sightings.
June 19, 2021 – White Ibis spotted recently at Sandia Wetlands. Ponds were down for regular maintenance. These three found one of the last puddles.
June 5, 2021 – Updates of wetlands / grasslands restoration work underway below the Balmorhea Lake dam. A partnership of Sandia Wetland Project and the Texas Native Seeds Program, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. Good stuff is happening. Check back for further progress.
May 24, 2021 – Sandia Wetlands Project will be partnering with the Texas Native Seeds Program, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute in a habitat restoration project on private lands at Lake Balmorhea. The seed mix for five acres is dominated by native grasses with some native shrub and wildflower added to the mix and is designed for the type of soils at the site. More wildflower would be desirable but seeds currently are in short supply.
This is very exciting news for us! Stay tuned for images and updates.
May 13, 2021 – Birding trip report to Lake Balmorhea provided by Steven Cardiff:
With Donna L. Dittmann, overcast becoming clear by about 11:30 AM, 59-72 F, wind NE 5-10 mph. Lake level relatively high with good inflow. Drove most of lake perimeter plus on-foot covering roads/brush in SW corner. New alfalfa ag fields being developed west of west levee, with some new ponds below the levee. Some other brushy areas had been recently burned and/or bulldozed. High counts based on running tallies.
To see the impressive list of sightings click on the link below. Thank you Steven!
May 16, 2021 – All birds of a feather or no feathers are welcome at Sandia Springs Wetlands Project Balmorhea, Texas. If you are thinking of visiting just click on our “VISIT” tab for directions and a map. When here please sign our guest registry and note your bird sightings. Enjoy!
April 23, 2021 – Recent trip report including wonderful images from Michael Gray during his recent trip to Balmorhea Lake and its new adjoining wetlands.
After leaving the high elevations we drove HWY 505 and on to Bill and Jill’s Ranch west of Valentine before doing rest of scenic loop back to Linda Hedge’s, Madge Linsey’s and our house before hunting for the Gray, Common Black Hawk and Zone-tail Hawks – all hid from us but a Zone-tailed Hawk did present itself – Then on to final part of our day at Balmorhea – Our last stake-out, Burrowing Owl borrow panned out! unlike most of our staked out hawk nests. The highlight at Balmorhea Lake (our endpoint) was the 50 plus Lesser Nighthawks feeding over the reworked marsh of northwest side of Balmorhea Lake with an incredible sunset.
(click on image to enlarge)
April 25, 2021 – Work and progress continues with development of wetlands immediately adjoining Balmorhea Lake. Stay tuned for further updates.
March 21, 2021 – Exciting news! Sandia Wetlands Project is participating in the development of wetlands immediately adjacent to Balmorhea Lake, Balmorhea Texas. We are currently root plowing between the lake and Balmorhea. The dam on that side of the lake leaks and is being developed for prime habitat for wetland birds. Sandhill Cranes already been sighted in the area.
January 9, 2021 – Happy New Year Everyone! Are you experiencing “Pandemic Doldrums”? Blow the cobwebs out and visit our Sandia Wetlands Project. All are welcome. If you do visit please register in our guest book at the alcove and note your bird sightings. All comments are welcome.
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
October, 2020 – Highlights from Sandia Wetlands Project – Balmorhea, Texas.
Pond and project maintenance is always on our “To Do” list.
Kettles as big as Texas. Image taken at Sandia earlier this month. Article from Bridwatchingdaily.com. (click on link)
People and Views
Of Course Bird Sightings at Sandia and elsewhere. A big thank you to Michael Gray for his world class images. (click on image to enlarge)
We hope to see you at Sandia Wetlands Project. If you visit please come to our kiosk and sign in. Note the birds you have sighted.
September 17, 2020 – Migrating bird die off is occurring in the southwest more so in New Mexico. More here:
September 12, 2020 – Michael Gray, Cecilia Riley made a recent trip to Balmorhea and Sandia Wetlands Project. On the road into the project they stopped at a large Cottonwood with water from an old canal which was busy with birds to the extent they spent much of the day spotting 57 species of birds. Including eight warbler species, Tropical & Western Kingbirds, Western Wood Peewee, Gray, Willow, Scissor-tail, Vermillion Flycatchers and Say’s and Eastern phoebes.
Mike shared some of his images. Thank you Mike!
(click on image to enlarge)
August 28, 2020 – Just In: Lots of activity going on at Balmorhea Lake rebuilding islands, creating rookeries and habitat increasing the number of birds using the lake. Nests below are Red-winged Blackbird or Grackle.
August 28, 2020 – Red Wing Black Bird nest in cattails taken at Sandia